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The Vancouver Writers Fest 2018 Reading List

Included in this playlist are titles from authors, poets, and thinkers from across the globe who are appearing at this year’s Vancouver Writers Fest.

America Is Not the Heart

A Novel
By Elaine Castillo
Narrated by Donnabella Mortel /  16 hours 24 minutes

One of NPR's Best Books of 2018

"A saga rich with origin myths, national and personal . . . Castillo is part of a younger generation of American writers instilling literature with a layered sense of identity." --Vogue

How many lives fit in a lifetime?


When Hero De Vera arrives in America--haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and... Read More »

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$30.00

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I've Been Meaning to Tell You

A Letter to My Daughter
By David Chariandy
Narrated by David Chariandy /  2 hours 19 minutes

In the tradition of Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, acclaimed novelist David Chariandy's latest is an intimate and profoundly beautiful meditation on the politics of race today.

When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his... Read More »

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$19.15

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A Killer Harvest

A Thriller
By Paul Cleave
Narrated by Paul Ansdell /  12 hours 21 minutes

Joshua is convinced there is a family curse. It has taken loved ones from him, it has robbed him of his eyesight, and it is the reason why his father was killed while investigating the homicide of a young woman. But after his father's death, Joshua is handed an opportunity he can't refuse: an operation that will allow him not only to see the... Read More »

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$28.74

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The Saturday Night Ghost Club

A Novel
By Craig Davidson
Narrated by Corey Brill /  5 hours 40 minutes

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE: An infectious and heartbreaking novel from "one of this country's great kinetic writers" (Globe and Mail)--Craig Davidson's first new literary fiction since his bestselling, Giller-shortlisted Cataract City

When neurosurgeon Jake Baker operates, he knows he's handling more than a patient's... Read More »

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French Exit

A Novel
By Patrick deWitt
Narrated by Lorna Raver /  6 hours 53 minutes

French Exit

“Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt’s French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt’s depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!”

The Country Bookshop image Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop
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Heartbreaker

A Novel
By Claudia Dey
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Claudia Dey & MacLeod Andrews /  9 hours 8 minutes

The love between a daughter and her mother—and the dark secrets they keep from each other—are at the heart of this wildly imaginative novel that combines elements of The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks.

An isolated town.
The remains of a mysterious cult.
And a woman who disappears.


It’s 1985. Pony Darlene Fontaine has lived all... Read More »

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Washington Black

By Esi Edugyan
Narrated by Dion Graham /  12 hours 18 minutes

A dazzling, original novel of slavery and freedom, from the author of the international bestseller Half-Blood Blues

Longlisted for the 2018 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

When two English brothers arrive at a Barbados sugar plantation, they bring with them a darkness beyond what the slaves have already known. Washington Black – an eleven year-old field slave –... Read More »

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$38.52

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The Measure of My Powers

A Memoir of Food, Misery, and Paris
By Jackie Kai Ellis
Narrated by Jackie Kai Ellis /  4 hours 58 minutes

INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER. For fans of Eat Pray Love, Wild, and H is for Hawk, The Measure of My Powers is the story of one woman's search for self-love, experienced through food and travel.

"With searing vulnerability and unflinching honesty, Jackie Kai Ellis takes us on an intense and immersive journey from her darkest moments to the...
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Mad Blood Stirring

The Inner Lives of Violent Men
By Daemon Fairless
Narrated by Daemon Fairless /  13 hours 56 minutes

With a rare clarity and fearless honesty, Daemon Fairless tackles the horrors and compulsions of male violence from the perspective of someone who struggles with violent impulses himself, creating a non-fiction masterpiece with the narrative power of novels such as Fight Club and A History of Violence.

A man, no matter how civilized, is still an... Read More »

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Happiness

By Aminatta Forna
Narrated by Robin Miles /  13 hours 9 minutes

From award-winning writer Aminatta Forna, a stunning novel bringing an American scientist and a Ghanaian psychologist together in London in a hunt for a missing boy-and an expansive, subtle tale of loss, hope, love, compassion, culture, and the true meaning of happiness. "Not since Remains of the Day has an author so skillfully revealed the way... Read More »

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Boys

What It Means to Become a Man
By Rachel Giese
Narrated by Ellen Archer /  6 hours 12 minutes

A vital and sweeping examination of today's "boy crisis," demonstrating the ways in which we raise boys into a culture of toxic masculinity and offering solutions that can liberate us all

Whether they're being urged to "man up" or warned that "boys don't cry," young men are subjected to damaging messages about manliness: they must muzzle their... Read More »

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$28.73

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Beirut Hellfire Society

By Rawi Hage
Narrated by Ali Momen /  6 hours 50 minutes

FINALIST FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FOR FICTION

An explosive new novel from the award-winning, bestselling author of De Niro's Game and Cockroach.


It is 1978 in Beirut, Lebanon, partway through that country's Civil War. On a torn-up... Read More »

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$28.75

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Lands of Lost Borders

A Journey on the Silk Road
By Kate Harris
Narrated by Amy Landon /  10 hours 59 minutes

Lands of Lost Borders

“What a terrific read! Kate Harris seamlessly intertwines science, history, geology, geography, and philosophy in this tale of her 10-month bike ride on the Silk Road. At times, this book reads more like a thriller than a memoir! Harris and her pal Melissa covered 10,000 kilometers and visited 10 countries, and their endurance, exploits, and experiences will amaze you; I found myself eagerly looking up maps and pictures to track their journey. Along the way, the author explores the nature of boundaries, both real and imagined, and the meaningfulness of exploration and wildness. Is it appropriate to use the term ‘badass’ in a book review? If so, these gals are it!”

Sara Reinert image Sara Reinert, The Homer Bookstore
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$31.04

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All Things Consoled

A daughter's memoir
By Elizabeth Hay
Narrated by Elizabeth Hay /  7 hours 25 minutes

From Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's beloved novelists, comes a startling and beautiful memoir about the drama of her parents' end, and the longer drama of being their daughter. Winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonficiton.

Jean and Gordon Hay were a colourful, formidable pair. Jean, a late-blooming artist with a marvellous... Read More »

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$35.33

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Motherhood

A Novel
By Sheila Heti
Narrated by Sheila Heti /  5 hours 16 minutes

Motherhood

“Sheila Heti has a way of tapping into the throes of consciousness and coming out with a precisely articulated version of how we think. Her new book, Motherhood, delves deep into the decision of whether or not to have children, while simultaneously exploring femininity, identity, and self purpose. Even if motherhood is not pertinent to your life, this book will shed light on our culture and the expectations that are bound to affect everyone at some point.”

Trident Booksellers and Cafe image Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers and Cafe
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$22.99

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Our Homesick Songs

By Emma Hooper
Narrated by Nicole Power /  7 hours 17 minutes

Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

From Emma Hooper, acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine “Pick of the Week,” comes a “haunting fable about the transformative power of hope” (Booklist, starred review)
in a charming and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction.

Newfoundland, 1992. When all... Read More »

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Immigrant, Montana

A novel
By Amitava Kumar
Narrated by Amitava Kumar /  8 hours 30 minutes

The author of the widely praised Lunch with a Bigot now gives us a remarkable novel--reminiscent of Teju Cole, W. G. Sebald, John Berger--about a young new immigrant to the United States in search of love: across dividing lines between cultures, between sexes, and between the particular desires of one man and the women he comes to love.

The young... Read More »

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$17.50

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The Mars Room

A Novel
By Rachel Kushner
Narrated by Rachel Kushner /  9 hours 41 minutes

The Mars Room

“The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner gives insight into life behind prison walls as well as the kind of lives lived that might land one there. Actually, many stories are bound together in this unique novel. A former stripper in for life without parole, a prison GED teacher and a dirty cop are the primary storytellers along with a host of colorful cell mates and acquaintances. The backstories are particularly interesting as there are so many commonalities regarding current social maladies: single parenthood, drugs, poverty, neglect and poor education to name a few. Grimly realistic and fascinating.”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books
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$22.99

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Unraveling Oliver

A Novel
By Liz Nugent
Narrated by Sam O’Mahony /  6 hours 50 minutes

Unraveling Oliver

“Oliver, the titular center of Liz Nugent's chilling debut thriller, will attract and repel the reader as his deep wounds and legacy of destruction are revealed by his own confessions and by the recollections of those whose lives intersect with his. The novel opens with Oliver, a successful writer living in apparent domestic contentment, beating his wife into a coma. Why? As Oliver's crimes come into focus, Nugent's brilliance is in balancing the evil he does with the evil that is done to him. Is he to be reviled or pitied? Or both?”

Main Point Books image Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books
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$20.69

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There There

A novel
By Tommy Orange
Narrated by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo & Kyla Garcia /  7 hours 59 minutes

There There

“There There is the kind of book that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go, even after you’ve turned the last page. It is a work of fiction, but every word of it feels true. Tommy Orange writes with a palpable anger and pain, telling the history of a cultural trauma handed down through generations in the blood and bones and stories of individual lives. He also writes with incredible heart and humor, infusing his characters with a tangible humanity and moments of joy even as they are headed toward tragedy. There There has claimed a permanent spot in my heart despite having broken it, or maybe because it did. I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read.”

Changing Hands image Heather Weldon, Changing Hands
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$21.00

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